UpDayton Summit History 101


2018 marks the tenth year of UpDayton’s Summit. For the past ten years, young professionals have been coming together at the Summit to share their needs and concerns of the region, and to pitch ideas for building a better city that we call home, Dayton. We want to take a look back at the history of the Summit, and in this post we’ll be covering the first five years, 2009 - 2013. Let’s take a trip down memory lane!


In the very beginning, it wasn’t even called the UpDayton Summit! Its name was the Young Creatives Summit and took place at the Dayton Convention Center before moving to the Dayton Art Institute in ‘12, but the idea remained the same: brainstorm ways to make Dayton a better place to live, work and play. Topics that were talked about in these events originated from a survey sent out to UpDayton members. From there, teams were formed and had breakout sessions to determine projects that could be created to help each of those topics. This was a very different approach than the pitches format currently used in Summits.


Throughout these early years, a lot of great projects came from the breakout sessions. One of the recurring themes from the inaugural 2009 Summit was to have some sort of comprehensive online communications hub where people could go to get information about regional events, volunteer opportunities, entertainment and recreational happenings. This resource hub became Dayton Most Metro, and eventually evolved into a magazine-like format that included calendars, articles and blogs. Striving to engage the community, they have become a go-to place to discover how to get involved in the region and discover things to do.


In a breakout session from the 2011 Summit, attendees were asked about ways to make their neighborhoods more attractive. A lot of their responses centered around beautifying the surrounding downtown communities to make them more attractive for young people to reside. The project team was drawn to a regional asset that was being underused: a pedestrian bridge over US-35 connecting the Historic Oregon District to the South Park Historic District. They decided it needed a visual upgrade, and with the help of 70 volunteers in one day, the walkway of the bridge was painted with creative designs in hopes of increasing foot traffic between the two neighborhoods.


Many project ideas were tossed around during the 2012 Summit, and one that came to fruition was the Waggle Project. The goal of this project was to create signage that highlighted routes around downtown Dayton for walkers and bicyclists to use. Signs would also give a time estimate to certain points of interest so that the reader would have a clear estimate on how to quickly to reach their destination. Hanging over 40 signs on street posts downtown, the Waggle Project was able to educate downtown visitors about local sites and how to safely navigate to each of them (using their legs and not wheels, of course!).

Although this was a brief recap of some past projects, you can get a glimpse at many more that came from the Summit at the ‘Past Projects’ link on UpDayton’s website. On an upcoming post, we’ll dive into the Summit’s next four years, and how those projects changed Dayton as well. And while we look back, we must not forget about the upcoming tenth Summit, Summit X. Register now and join us on Thursday, April 26 as we celebrate the past, but continue looking toward the future!

By Joe Swann

Have You Explored the New Main Library Yet?

Have you checked out the new downtown Dayton Metro Library? Because if you haven’t yet, we highly recommend it! The UpDayton Marketing Committee did a tour of the library, and had to make a tough decision: what is our favorite spot in the library? Here are each of our favorite places, and why we love them!

Meet Joe! His favorite spot is the children's section. He feels it is important for kids to take advantage of the library at an early age, and this area looks to keep them interested. From the bridge they can play on to the lighting that changes colors, the children's section aims to let kids know that the library is more than books and can be fun!

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Meet Miranda! Her favorite spot is a tie between two places. The patio area on the third floor not only overlooks the beautiful city of Dayton, but it also provides an area for people to enjoy the library outdoors. The creative space on the second floor is also a favorite. It has dry erase tables to allow for artistic and creative thinking with a visual way to collaborate and brainstorm!

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Meet Aaron! His favorite spot is the learning spaces on the first floor. He likes the potential for independent learning and teaching opportunities. Being able to tear down community walls and silos to create a brighter future is what this new library space creates for the City of Dayton.

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Meet Rebecca! She loves all the different spaces around the library that she can read. But most importantly, the versatile chairs you can sit in multiple ways! The library has done a nice job of using different chairs and furniture throughout to fit everyone’s needs.

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Meet Jason! He loves the cozy reading area on the third floor near the fiction section. Not only does it have a fireplace, but it’s tucked in a corner with lots of natural light and views of nature and Dayton. It is perfect for curling up with a new book or knocking out some work on his laptop.

As you can see, the Dayton Metro Library has something to offer every one of all ages! There are rooms groups can reserve to meet in, silent areas, a green screen room, plenty of outlets throughout to plug in, a room full of Dayton history, and so much more! It truly has changed the way the Marketing Committee thinks of a library. It is a collaboration space for the City of Dayton, and we feel so lucky to have it available for use!

Explore Hotspots in the Greater Dayton Area

By Joe Swann

There are a ton of fun and adventurous things to do within the city of Dayton, but there are plenty of comparable activities in the surrounding cities as well! Here are some cool spots to check out when venturing outside of the city limits:

Caesar Creek

1.     With 18 parks, 11 in Dayton, there is a lot of exploration to be done in Five Rivers MetroParks. Once you’ve been able to explore all of the trails and scenery they have to offer, head down south to Waynesville and check out Caesar Creek State Park. A 2,830-acre lake to go boating in, an archery range, and the beautiful Horseshoe Falls waterfall and more all reside in this state park. Your next adventure awaits!

Troy Farmer's Market

2.     Featuring more than 40 local vendors that offer a variety of food options, crafts, and home décor, the 2nd Street Market is a downtown hotspot during the late week afternoons. While this market occupies a historical freight house, the Downtown Troy Farmers Market takes place outdoors on South Cherry Street between June and October of each year. You’ll be able to find a lot of local food growers, as well as artisans and crafters. This farmers market sits behind the southwest corner of historical Downtown Troy, so be sure to check out some of the local businesses while you’re in the area.


3.     RiverScape hosts multiple festivals throughout the year and you can usually find a musical act playing at the pavilion. For some major performances, head north to the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights and jam out to a wide array of artists. So far in 2017, this outdoor amphitheater has been host to John Legend, Willie Nelson, the Goo Goo Dolls and Lynyrd Skynyrd to name a few. (P.S. Are you ready for Levitt Pavilion in 2018?)

Yellow Springs Brewery

4.     Downtown Dayton is home to multiple breweries that take pride in crafting their beer in the Gem City. While we love our hometown drinks, if you were to venture out east into Yellow Springs, you’ll come across the Yellow Springs Brewery. What started out as a microbrewery in 2013, has evolved into a centerpiece of the small town. They have plenty of beers on tap, but be sure to try their two most popular drinks: Captain Stardust Saison and Zoetic American Pale Ale.

There is always so much to do in the cities surrounding Dayton! Have a good time and enjoy yourself and never forget that the real fun resides in the D-Y-T.

All images provided by yours truly, Joe Swann

Summit Project Successes - The Longest Table Dayton

In just over a month, hundreds of individuals will descend upon the Dayton Art Institute for what has become the annual Launchpad for volunteer-powered community projects – The UpDayton Summit. While the event itself is filled with excitement and something that is looked forward to all year, the projects that come out of the Summit are the heart and soul of UpDayton. A campaign and selfie wall that has turned into a mantra for the city of Dayton; the painting of a walking bridge bringing together two communities divided by a highway; the purchasing and installation of bike racks around the city to make Dayton more bike friendly; and a table the length of the third street bridge filled with strangers breaking barriers by breaking bread together – those are just a few examples of the projects that got their start at the UpDayton Summit. Because these projects touch so many individuals, we’re going to kick-off a series focused on the 360-degree impact of a project, getting insights from project leaders, project volunteers and community members that have been impacted by the projects. We start with a little teaser from a 2016 project – The Longest Table Dayton. Here’s a recap of the event that happened on October 15, but The Longest Table movement didn’t stop there. Smaller events have been taking place in a variety of locations monthly with the goal of continuing the conversation from the big table. If you want to get involved, visit the Longest Table website for details about upcoming events around Dayton. 

Stay tuned for the next entry in our series and don’t forget to register to attend the UpDayton Summit → https://updayton.org/summit-tickets

Summit 101

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If you're new to UpDayton, you are probably seeing a lot of posts everywhere about the UpDayton Summit. Very simply put, the Summit is UpDayton's yearly gathering where we decide on what major projects we want to work on to help make Dayton a better place to work, live, and play. Attending the Summit is one of the most impactful ways for Daytonians to get involved in their city. 

Who: YOU! 

What: 2017 UpDayton Summit

When: The evening of Thursday, April 27th

Where: The Dayton Art Institute

How: Register HERE (sign up by March 17th for Early Bird pricing!)

Earlier this month, Daytonians with a vision for our future submitted their project ideas for the UpDayton Summit. After guidance from UpDayton leaders, the list of projects will be narrowed down to final ideas that will be pitched at the 2017 Summit on Thursday, April 27th. The audience will then vote to select which three projects will each receive $1,000 in seed money and a year of support from UpDayton staff, leaders and volunteers. After the Summit, attendees can then volunteer to help make their favorite project idea into reality. 

Past UpDayton projects have included The Longest Table and the New Dayton Icon. 

No matter if you're new to Dayton or you have lived here your whole life, the UpDayton Summit is a great way to meet new people and see what this city is all about. To learn more about our organization, or to sign up for more volunteer information, check out this cool primer about UpDayton. We hope to see you soon!